On the markets, strawberries are appearing with considerable price differences between French and Spanish produce. The 500-gram tray from Andalusia costs €1.99, compared to €5.50 for those from Carpentras (Vaucluse). 57,000 tonnes of strawberries are produced each year in France, compared to 400,000 tonnes in Spain.
In France, an agricultural worker is paid on the basis of the gross monthly minimum wage of €1,521 compared to €1,050 in Spain. "The production cost of a French strawberry will never be the same as a Spanish strawberry simply because the costs are different. There is the incomparable cost of labour, there is the whole aspect of sustainable control, in other words the reduction of treatments, environmental protection and all the company's costs," explains Virginie Fraysse, strawberry producer in Carpentras.
Emmanuel Aze, spokesman for the farmers' confederation of Lot-et-Garonne, is calling for the introduction of a minimum price for products imported from Spain, admitting into the country Spanish products whose price would be equivalent to or higher than the production costs of the same product under French social and wage conditions.